Building a Tree from DataTable results with the node structure formatted as \Node1\Node2\

Posted on 2008-06-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I've been banging my head against a wall for the past few days with the problem of turning DataTable results into a Tree Structure to populate a TreeView control. The tree path is stored in a field called Path.


Normally I do a recursive query using parent ID's but this system is different as the Root Parents Childs are all stored in the string.  I've been doing a  For each Row in DataSet and breaking down each Path into a string array using  NodeList = Path.Split(CChar("\"))  but its the building of the nodes that I just cant get my head around.

Idealy I dont want to requery the database again, the results in the datatable from a stored procedure with a fair few params. So I'd have to work with data just in the datatable.


Question by:emub
  • 6
  • 5
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 21856632
Probably could do something like:

function TreeNode BuildNode(string path)
    TreeNode node = ...  // Build a node for this path
    DataRow[] rows = tbl.Select("LIKE " + path + "\%");
    foreach (DataRow row in rows)
        BuildNode((string) row["path"]);

Open in new window


Author Comment

ID: 21857601
Though I think the toughest problem isnt the recursive part its working with the path.

Here is the code I've done so far. it almost works but I cant work out why it gets stuck in a loop.

Tracing through it would make the following nodes


then it would start again back at D\1\A point and loop forever.

For Each root As String In GetNodeRoots(locationList)
     LocationTreeView.Nodes.Add(BuildNode(root, locationList))
    Public Function GetNodeRoots(ByRef list As DataTable) As Collection
        Dim rootNodes As New Collection
        Dim lastRoot As String = String.Empty
        For Each row As DataRow In list.Rows
            Dim nodeList() As String = row("LocationName").ToString.Split(CChar("\"))
            If lastRoot <> nodeList(0) Then
                lastRoot = nodeList(0)
            End If
        Return rootNodes
    End Function
    Public Function BuildNode(ByVal path As String, ByRef list As DataTable) As TreeNode
        ' Get the current path where we are upto.
        Dim currentPath() As String = path.Split(CChar("\"))
        ' Create next node.
        Dim node As New TreeNode(currentPath(currentPath.GetUpperBound(0)))
        ' Get a filtered list of all the child nodes for the path passed in.
        For Each row As DataRow In list.Select(String.Concat("LocationName LIKE '", String.Concat(path, "\"), "%'"))
            ' Get the full path of the next node.
            Dim nextNode() As String = row("LocationName").ToString.Split(CChar("\"))
            ' If the next node has any more childs then call the recursive function.
            If nextNode.Count > currentPath.Count Then
                ' Make the next path we pass in just 1 step along from the current path.
                ReDim Preserve nextNode(currentPath.Count)
                ' Call recursive funxtion with the new path, rejoin the path back to its orginal format also.
                node.Nodes.Add(BuildNode(String.Join("\", nextNode), list))
            End If
        Return node
    End Function

Open in new window


Author Comment

ID: 21864108
Ok while some essential tweeks to the above code for efficency I stumbled accross the probem,

the problem lies with that line

For Each row As DataRow In list.Select(String.Concat("LocationName LIKE '", path, "\", "%'"))

It works fine except for its returning to much,  if the [path] was  

LocationName LIKE 'A\1\%'

it works but its returning multipule entries due to there been no GROUP BY or SELECT DISTINCT clauses.
The problem is I only know how to filter the results in DataTable.Select with parameters. Can you do this in the DataTable or do I have to resort to doing it manually in the code itself?
Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 21864162
Is it because the select clause returns you all the descendants of a node, whether direct or indirect.

That is when current node is 'A\1'
The select will return you both 'A\1\B', as well as 'A\1\B\2'?

If this is the case your check should be

If nextNode.Count = currentPath.Count + 1 Then

instead of

If nextNode.Count > currentPath.Count Then

Author Comment

ID: 21864193
Yes that is whats happening, the select clause is returning multipule 'A\1\' 's due to child nodes.


If nextNode.Count = currentPath.Count + 1 Then

does top the endless looping so I can actually see the results but were missing loads of nodes, we only go max 1 depth in now.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 21864220
Hmm, how does your code looks like now after some essential tweaks that you mentioned?

Author Comment

ID: 21864268
tbh pretty much the same I just changed how I was building strings, I had some extra steps in there that wasn't needed, which since this would be looping several 1000's times (alot of records in the DataTable) I didnt want to many overheads.

Looking at whats happening or what we want to stop happening. The Select clause is ment to retrive a list of the Childs ware are to build nodes for then pass those Childpaths into the function again but if them childs have subChilds we have duplicate requests. So we need to remove them duplicates since were not intrested in them.

I can only think of 2 ways atm,  either Create a function that filders the orginal Array of DataRows() removing all duplicates before we start the for next loop. or do an extra check and verify the previously processed node is not = to the next node were about to process. ?? /shrug  :)

Author Comment

ID: 21865618
Tried both methods and the overheads are to high takes 5-6Ssecs pn my PC to generate 1011 nodes.
Which is far to long as the final plan would be much larger.  The problem is working with the DataTable only.  So I'll write it so I can actually query the database for the child nodes and let the database do the filtering.

ty :)
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

philipjonathan earned 2000 total points
ID: 21871394
What about this (pseudo-code):

foreach row in the DataTable
  string() nodes = locationName.ToString().Split("\")
  use the nodes array to traverse down the treeview nodes to find node
    if node is not created yet
      create node (any additional details for the node must be updated later)
      update node information, if anything needs to be updated
  end of treeview traversal
end of foreach

The idea is instead of going by the tree structure and search for its child-node from the DataTable, we loop by the DataTable and create the node immediately (including its ancestor nodes, if they aren't created yet).

I believe the 1st method has O(n^2) complexity, because there are n items in the tree, and each search for a node's children in the DataTable requires us to roughly traverse almost all n items.

While the 2nd method should be a little better O(n log n). Because we only need to traverse the whole table once, that is O(n). And for each item, we search for its location in the tree, which is roughly O(log n). Theoretically, this should be faster, and no duplicates too :) and it does not need recursion ...

Unfortunately, I'm tied down with my office work at the moment, couldn't test it out myself. You can try it out if you want to...

Author Comment

ID: 21873470
Ty, I'd orginally tried to do it that way but failed. After having another go at it I realised I was using the TreeView control incorrectly.

Its all working now and the tree is build pretty much instantly even with all the records in.

I've attached the basic code that gets it working.

Thanks. :)
        For Each row As DataRow In data.Rows
            Dim nodePath() As String = row("LocationName").ToString.Split(CChar("\"))
            Dim currentLocation As TreeNode
            Dim nextPath As String = String.Empty
            For Each node As String In nodePath
                ' Keep track of our current path, so we can use it as the Node's Key property.
                nextPath = String.Concat(nextPath, node)
                If currentLocation Is Nothing AndAlso LocationTreeView.Nodes.Item(nextPath) Is Nothing Then
                    ' Create a new root node.
                    currentLocation = LocationTreeView.Nodes.Add(node, node)
                ElseIf currentLocation IsNot Nothing AndAlso currentLocation.Nodes.Item(nextPath) Is Nothing Then
                    ' Create a new sub node.
                    currentLocation = currentLocation.Nodes.Add(nextPath, nextPath)
                ElseIf currentLocation Is Nothing AndAlso LocationTreeView.Nodes.Item(nextPath) IsNot Nothing Then
                    ' Root node already exists, set our location to root node.
                    currentLocation = LocationTreeView.Nodes.Item(nextPath)
                    ' Sub node exists, move our current location to subnode.
                    currentLocation = currentLocation.Nodes.Item(nextPath)
                End If
            ' Reset current location back to root.
            currentLocation = Nothing
            nextPath = String.Empty

Open in new window

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 21876593
Wow, thanks for sharing with us, and glad that I can help ... thanks for the points too :)

Featured Post

Get expert help—faster!

Need expert help—fast? Use the Help Bell for personalized assistance getting answers to your important questions.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Since upgrading to Office 2013 or higher installing the Smart Indenter addin will fail. This article will explain how to install it so it will work regardless of the Office version installed.
This article describes how to use a set of graphical playing cards to create a Draw Poker game in Excel or VB6.
Get people started with the process of using Access VBA to control Outlook using automation, Microsoft Access can control other applications. An example is the ability to programmatically talk to Microsoft Outlook. Using automation, an Access applic…
Show developers how to use a criteria form to limit the data that appears on an Access report. It is a common requirement that users can specify the criteria for a report at runtime. The easiest way to accomplish this is using a criteria form that a…

627 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question